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Awakening in the Dream
by Paul Levy
In a dream I was in with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I said to him "Your Holiness, I know this is a dream but sometimes it seems so real that I forget." 

The creative power of the mind, which in India they call Maya, the source of illusion, is an enchantress who puts one under her spell of thinking that the real is unreal and the unreal real. In a dream I had many years ago, I had cornered Maya, who I knew to be the source of my, as well as everyone's problems. She was a sorceress and was able to magically change the appearance of reality, but I was not distracted, and one-pointedly kept my attention on capturing her. Just as I was about to capture her, I woke up. 

Upon waking up, I was astonished at how real the dream had seemed and how powerful it had been. I began writing it down in my dream journal, which was next to my bed. There was only one slight problem. This was another dream, too, which I soon woke up from into "waking reality." Maya had indeed fooled me. 

To quote the Tibetan lama, Chagdud Rinpoche: "This is what is called false awakening, a dream of waking, and it's what we do every morning of our lives. In the dream of life we think we're awake, but in fact we're still dreaming. It's just that the alarm clock hasn't sounded yet. 

The notion that our waking life is nothing other than a dream seems incredible, beyond belief. Please imagine the situation. You are inside of a dream, one in which you go to sleep every night and have a wide assortment of night dreams. You wake up from the night dreams every morning into your waking dream, not realizing that it is another dream. In this waking dream, every now and then come little suggestions or reminders of the dreamlike nature of the situation you find yourself in, from synchronicities to articles that are talking about how life is like a dream. 

If you start to pay attention to these clues, which are like alarm clocks or what I call lucidity stimulators, a very interesting thing begins to occur Ð they happen more often. You begin to realize that just like in night dreams, our waking dream is a reflection of the mind that is observing it. This is exactly what the quantum physicists, in this waking dream of ours, have discovered Ð that not only is there nothing separate or objective in this waking dreamscape of ours, but the very act of observing the universe literally calls forth, or creates the universe. 

You discover that if you see that this is a magical, synchronistic, dreamlike universe that every moment is offering you exactly what you need in order to wake up, it will spontaneously shape-shift and do exactly that, as it is nothing other than your own reflection. But being like a dream, this only becomes true if you see it as such. 

As long as you don't realize this you will unconsciously just re-create, enact and act out all the unhealed parts of your psyche, perpetuating the very stuckness that you seek to avoid, creating an infinite regression, being absorbed in a nightmare of never-ending suffering. 

As you wake up to the dreamlike nature of reality, though, you begin to realize that the same dreaming mind that is dreaming your dreams at night is actually dreaming up your life; this part of you has literally dreamed up these very words. You start to see that a deeper part of you is setting up events in your life, just like a novelist is writing a play, with the intent being none other than to awaken you to the true, dreamlike nature of your situation.

For more articles about dreaming, see